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ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare Kindle Edition
Your nose is to the grindstone, day after day. You spend your work hours overworked and underappreciated, only to return home and deal with bills, landlords, and the ever-oppressive shadow of capitalism consuming you and everything you love. The horrors of capitalism are the horrors we all face every day, and they are confronted head-on in ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare. Contained within are nineteen tales of capitalism gone wrong--from designer children to deadly bosses, predatory lenders to plague-ridden laborers--all revealing the dark underbelly of economic oppression from some of horror's best independent and emerging writers from around the globe. In solidarity, there is strength against terror and fear. Let these stories be your guide, because, after all... "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable." -Karl Marx
- ASIN : B091MVVYZM
- Publisher : Rad Flesh Press; 1st edition (May 1, 2021)
- Publication date : May 1, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 464 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 215 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,928 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Each of these tales is well-written and carefully edited. They were of similar length - perhaps around 4,000 words. Not short and abrupt, but neither were they so long that they couldn't be read in a reasonable amount of time.
My favorites were GREEKS BEARING GIFTS – Ilene Goldman, a tale whose stakes rise relentlessly so that the reader feels the horror of the protagonist's awful situation; EMPTY – Noah Lemelson, which brilliantly illustrates the collection's theme while kicking ass at the same time; and FALLING APART – Tom Nicholson, a darkly humorous look at how much we give to our employment and how much it takes from us.
Overall, a stellar collection and one I wholeheartedly recommend.
I rated this anthology 4 stars. I want to note that the profits from these tales of capitalistic horror will be directed to Labor Rights, “an organization in solidarity with workers around the world fighting for better pay, better work conditions, and a better quality of life.” - quoted from introduction so I wouldn’t get it wrong. I think that is something special.
VARIABLES – Clark Boyd
I was revved up after reading this one. Thought this whole anthology was going to be filled with stories where we stuck it to the capitalist scum (wrong, I was wrong), because of this beautiful opening story. Top 6.
THAT YE SHALL TRANSGRESS – Hailey Piper
I keep thinking of the nice guy ranters, you know the ones; nice guys are always chosen last, put upon, etc. Thematically adjacent is the best way to describe this story with no spoilers. All lies those ranters.
SALEN’S FOUND – Corey Farrenkopf
The meme about not liking your coffee too dark and your looking down at a cup that’s saying lets murder someone, but then you add some cream and it says I hate everyone, and you say perfect. That’s this story. It’s the perfect blend of darkness and dry humor.
BEELZEBUB (GAS STATION 1) – Nathaniel Lee
I have worked night shift at a truck stop off a lonely highway exit; I can attest to the oddness of customers one would encounter. This guy was smart, your mind does go into a lull; who knows what you may discuss to pass the hours. The strangest I remember is the naked guy who we would see appear from nowhere, giving us plenty of time to lock the doors.
GREEKS BEARING GIFTS – Ilene Goldman
I just love that this read like a modern fairy tale. Reminds me of the warning, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
SWEET MEATS: A GRISLY TALE OF HANSEL AND GRETEL – Tim Kane
This did feel a little out of place theme wise, but I love it so much. I choose to think (probably correctly) I am missing the connection.
SNAP – Brennan LaFaro
A nasty little tale. I can think of a few times I wish I had the power to snap some issues away.
EATING INTO YOUR FREE TIME – Derek Des Anges
I wanted to see what would happen after, when the meeting was over. This was a interesting fade to black type of story, but I’m not sure if the story would hold up if it had to continue past where it stopped abruptly; hence me interest in seeing it continue.
SUFFER THE CHILDREN – Laurel Hightower
it’s getting to where if I read someone saying “I am mother”, I know you have messed up royally and deserve whatever is coming to you. So I can’t help but side with mother on this one, and think, good, as the door closes on Tony.
ON PROBATION – Donald McCarthy
I don’t know if this story depresses me or not, so I don’t know if I enjoy it or not. Several readings and I still can not answer this question. It’s a well written story, but my reaction to it, I can’t name it.
TURN AROUND – Ty Zink
Short and to the point. Can’t really go into detail without fear of spoilers. Creepy little story.
RETURN POLICY – Dustin Walker
I couldn’t help but think of Repo the Genetic Opera (love it), but this is if the company went beyond evil. I just could not imagine in my darkest moment ever agreeing to something like this, but who am I to judge?
EMPTY – Noah Lemelson
If you’re not laughing, you’re crying. I can see a ‘Karen’ acting like this, I know the service industry already has to have this mentality, so yeah. It’s funny, we’re laughing.
FALLING APART – Tom Nicholson
It’s the oddest little story I have read in a long time. It reminds me a bit of the Far Side cartoons when they hit a bit too close to home.
BLUR – David Stevens
I’ve found myself fonder of moths in stories than butterflies; even if I do not understand the whole of the story they are in, as is here. I find myself reading this over again and again, different passages taking point each time; I wonder what that means to my overall understanding, or lack thereof.
THE PRICE OF MOTHERHOOD – Tiffany Michelle Brown
Blood, pain, and tears. Universal currency. Love this story so much.
ALABASTER CITIES – Joanna Michal Hoyt
Smaller cities would be easier to notice first, that’s what I keep thinking about with this story. But I’m not sure that would hold up now, a messy town being safe. It messes with me though, the thought of this perfect little town, and it’s predatory; the buildings.
PEAVEMAN’S LAMENT – Joanna Koch
I’ll be honest and admit I did not understand all of this, but it was written beautifully. I especially thought the second half to be moving.
CORPOS! – M. Lopes da Silva
This felt in vein of Bentley Little and Clive Barker. I thought it a good choice as the closure of the anthology.
Chances are you'll relate to the emotions of some of these characters; I know I did. Sure, maybe (hopefully) you haven't had these EXACT situations happen, but I've been treated and seen others treated the way a number of these characters have which makes a lot of this relatable in some fashion.
I'm not sure that I'll always be able to do this, but I wrote a note for each story. I tried not to spoil anything and put "*" next to my favorites. That said, not a bad story in the lot:
Variables - Clark Boyd: Pizza gets delivered to the rich flouting the rules during a pandemic. Means something different reading this in 2021 than it will later. Reminded me of THE RED MASK OF DEATH.
That Ye Shall Transgress - Hailey Piper: Left home when they can’t afford to accompany their friends to Europe, the unnamed protagonist finds a channel online that will take them places. Disorienting in a good way.
Salen’s Found - Corey Farrenkopf: Hal and his girlfriend are down on their luck when they starting getting pamphlets for a cult and wonder if that’s their way out. Couple goals!
Beelzebub (Gas Station 1) - Nathaniel Lee Greeks: Night shift worker gets an offer he won’t soon forget. The description of the “customer’s” voice was very effective.
Bearing Gifts - Ilene Goldman: Debt consolidation can be rough. I liked this story, but I’m not sure I understand the "rules". That’ll make sense after you read it.
Sweet Meats: A Grisly Tale of Hansel and Gretel - Tim Kane: VERY different take on the story of Hansel and Gretel. I’m not totally sure how this fit the theme? Maybe the children were supposed to represent big business? That’s not a spoiler, but I’m curious if I’m right or not.
Snap - Brennan LaFaro: A story about being disposable to your workplace. This one was kind of a bummer because part of it is probably true for a lot of businesses. Good story, sad truth.
Eating Into Your Free Time - Derek Des Anges: Flashbacks of working retail with this one, though this story is set in a chain coffee shop. This one made me a little angry, but I think it was supposed to.
* Suffer the Children - Laurel Hightower: An empty office delivers a message and more. Loved this story!
On Probation - Donald McCarthy: A story about misplaced loyalty. This one made me mad.
Turn-Around - Ty Zink: Turn-around is definitely a thing in large companies, especially when they can fire employees for anything and not give them a reason. Angry again. I’m noticing a trend.
* Return Policy - Dustin Walker: Love this story. Science makes it possible to keep loved ones alive, but is it too good to be true? And at what cost?
* Empty - Noah Lemelson: I really enjoyed this story. I’ve worked for companies that expected you to make the customer happy at ANY cost.
Falling Apart - Tom Nicholson: Satirical take on working yourself to pieces. Sad but darkly funny.
Blur - David Stevens: This story goes to some unexpected places. I’m not 100% sure I followed all of it, but still liked it a lot.
The Price of Motherhood - Tiffany Michelle Brown: Cool story about a woman who decides to “have” a child, no matter the cost.
Alabaster Cities - Joanna Michal Hoyt: An entity seems to be taking over a town in this unusual tale. Really enjoyed this one.
Peaveman’s Lament - Joanna Koch: I’ll admit, I had to read this one twice and I’m still sure I’m missing something. Beautifully written, but might have gone over my head a bit.
CORPOS! - M. Lopes da Silva: A story about a monster of building. I liked how the "building" itself was described; I could see it very clearly in my head.
After I got about 50% of the way in, I realized that I was starting to get angry. My empathy kicked in hard for a lot of these characters; lot of us have been these characters in similar (probably less supernatural) circumstances. There's a lot of injustice and hopelessness in these stories and all the credit goes to the authors for making me feel something. That doesn't always happen when reading horror and, in a anthology where we don't spend much time with each set of characters, I find it especially impressive.
4 out of 5 stars
*I was provided an ebook ARC by the editor for review
Thank you to Cursed Morsels Podcast for a review copy.